How are debts divided in a San Diego divorce? Will I be responsible for the debts of my former spouse? Both spouses are technically responsible for any debt which was acquired from the date of the marriage until the date of separation. This applies to all debts and accounts regardless of whether either or both of the spouses are named on the indebtedness.
Debts which are incurred prior to the marriage, often the case with student debt, or after the date of separation remains the separate property and responsibility of the debtor.
The debts divided in a San Diego divorce typically include:
- Any shortfall in the equity of a home after sale
- Vehicle loans
- Credit cards
- Credit accounts at any store
- Medical debt
- Collection accounts
- Loans with private parties
- Student loans which were incurred during the course of the marriage (although most are still designated as the separate obligation of the beneficiary of the student loan)
If the incomes of the spouses are fairly equal, marital property is usually divided roughly equally as well. However, there are no “carved in stone” rules regarding how either party will see debts divided in a San Diego divorce. It isn’t necessarily a 50/50 split. It’s more about appropriate balance of debts and assets based upon the unique circumstances and previous lifestyle of the parties. For example, if one of the spouses wishes to keep the family home they are usually going to assume responsibility for the existing mortgage(s).
It is important to note the Court has full latitude to deal with anomalies such as when a party runs up all the credit cards just before the divorce or has used marital funds or credit accounts to purchase lavish gifts for another party.
The division of assets and debts can be resolved between the parties through negotiation or mediation. The Court will review any agreement reached between the parties and has the option to approve them, reject them or suggest modifications.